Man missing in Yosemite fell into rushing rapids

2 mins read

A 24-year-old Bay Area native and recent college graduate Hayden Klemenok has been missing for four days in Yosemite National Park. 

According to his family and friends, he was backpacking with friends when he fell, swept into rushing rapids, and disappeared over  Upper Chilnualna Falls waterfall. 

Yosemite National Park officials said Klemenok’s whereabouts are currently unknown and search efforts are underway. 

Backpackers said Klemenok was trying to dip his head into Chilnualna Creek to cool off when the accident happened. 

Hayden Klemenok was wearing the clothing on the left when he vanished in Yosemite.
(Image courtesy National Park Service)

Klemenok’s older sister Taylor McKinnie said her brother and his friends hiked the same trail on Saturday without any problems. 

She also said Klemenok and fellow backpackers dipped their hands and hats into the cold flowing water on Saturday. 

A family friend wrote on a GoFundMe page, “The efforts of law enforcement, the national park rangers, and Yosemite Search and Rescue Team are greatly appreciated, however, the outcome of Hayden’s whereabouts are presumed devastating. We are all praying for a positive outcome.”

Klemenok was last seen wearing a tan-brimmed hat, white sunglasses, a red t-shirt, blue swimming trunks, and white Adidas shoes. 

He is 5’10’ tall, weighs 185 pounds, and has brown hair and blue eyes. 

Yosemite officials are asking anyone who has seen Klemenok or hikers who went off trail in the Upper Chilnualna Fall on or after July 2 to email YOSE_Desk_Officer@nps.gov or call Yosemite National Park Dispatch at 209-379-1992.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.